Memorial Inscriptions: Herbert Strutt School Memorial

Updated: Sunday, July 3, 2011   |   Belper Historical & Genealogical Website

These are the stories behind the names of the men on the Belper Herbert Strutt School First World War Memorial. The names are on a brass plate above the fireplace in the main hall.

These men deserve more than just to be a name on an old War memorial so this is their story. It is difficult researching them for three reasons:

Unless they were officers in the Battalion War diaries and other related documents as was the custom in the armed forces then Privates, Corporals and Sergeants were classed as ‘OR’s’ or ‘Other Ranks’ therefore in casualty reports they were not often named.

Ironically during the Blitz in the Second World War a lot of records were lost due to fire.

There are now very few if any people alive who knew these men.

Therefore it is a matter of painstakingly piecing together a jigsaw of facts from many sources.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)


Ordinary Telegraphist Bristol Z/6552 JOSEPH ALLSOP of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Born on Sunday 28thJanuary 1900 killed on Friday 15th February 1918 aged 18 serving on the H.M. Drifter Clover Bank (Built in 1917. 92 tons. 1-6pounder gun) Skippered by John James Colby.

The Drifter was sunk by German Destroyers in the Dover Straits while employed on anti-submarine net barrier repairs on the Dover barrage.

Clover Bank was one eight vessels lost in a surprise attack on shipping in the Straits of Dover during the night of 14/15 February 1918 by a force of seven German destroyers. The “Clover Bank” was overwhelmed and sank within minutes with all hands. Joseph has no known grave and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. He was the son of Frederick S. and Mary A. Allsop, of Ripley, Derbyshire.

Plymouth Naval Memorial
The Memorial bears the names of approximately 23,000 members of the Royal Navy
who gave their lives at sea and were either lost or buried at sea.


Captain Raymond Theodore Frederick Barnett, R.A.M.C. (T.F.) enlisted as a Corporal in the Royal Engineers at the start of the war.

Born Swindon Wilts 1889 birth registered Highworth Wilts son of Frederick W and Emma Barnett. He died on Thursday 12th February 1920 aged 30 his death was registered in Conway North Wales and he is buried in the Dwygyfylchi Churchyard.

Raymond Theodore Frederick Barnett gained a commission of Lieutenant within the RAMC on the 25th September 1917, he is listed in the 1918 Army List as serving with the 2nd London Sanitary Company. The Sanitary Company’s seemed to get involved in all sorts of things: testing water quality; carrying out all manner of bacteriology and other scientific tests and experiments.

He gained an award from the King of Italy;

The London Gazette, Of TUESDAY, the 26th OCTOBER, 1920.

Order of the Crown of Italy. Cavalier.
Lieutenant Raymond Theodore Fred Barnett, Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial Force).


Captain BERNARD Samuel DAVIS 5th Battalion Border Regiment Born in 1892 Duffield killed in action during on the first day of the Battle of Arras on Easter Monday 9th April 1917 aged 25. The Battle of Arras began in a snowstorm on 9th April 1917, when Australian, British, and Canadian Divisions fought on a front from Vimy Ridge in the north (Canadian sector), to the trenches east of Arras (British sector), to Bullecourt in the south (Australian sector). It was hoped that the much-awaited breakthrough might be made here.

He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Shirley Davis and the husband of Irene Percy Davis (nee Moody), of "Oakholme," Avenue Rd., Duffield, Derby.

Bernard is buried in the Bucquoy Road Cemetery, Ficheux France.

Private 37187 James LeslieEntwistle st Company Machine Gun Corp died of wounds on Sunday 28th October 1917 aged 21 during the second battle of Passchendaele 26 October -10 November 1917. The fighting at  the second battle of Passchendaele took place in dreadful and demoralising conditions, perhaps the worst in the war, which sapped the physical strength and spirits of all combatants.

James was born and resided in Belper enlisted in Derby formerly 4878 Sherwood Foresters (Nott’s and Derby Regiment) . He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. He was the son of Alfred and Mary H. Entwistle, of Brookside, Belper, Derbyshire.


The Vickers Gun
British Army's Heavy Machine Gun

Badge of the
Machine Gun Corps

The official documents of the history of the Machine Gun Corps have been ill-fated. Most were lost and destroyed in fires or during the Blitz.


Flight Sub-Lieutenant GODFREY John Whitehouse GOODWIN Royal Naval Air Service killed on active service Tuesday 12th March 1918 aged 19. He was flying an F.1 Sopwith Camel Serial. No. B3845 with 12 Squadron, an operational training squadron. New pilots would spend a week or so with No.12 before being posted to an operational squadron.

There was an engine fire, the plane dived vertically and was completely wrecked at Loon-Plage France. F.1 Sopwith Camel Serial. No. B3845 had earlier crashed in October 1917 was repaired and delivered to 12 Squadron RNAS on Tuesday 19th February 1918.

Godfrey was born on Monday 1st August 1898 (birth registered at Kings Norton in the third quarter of 1898) and was the son of John Godfrey Goodwin and Mary Aston Goodwin, of "The Cottage," Wellington St., Matlock. Godfrey is buried in the Dunkirk Town Cemetery.

F.1 Sopwith Camel

A great number of trainee pilots were killed learning to fly this aircraft.

Obituary in Flight from April 11th 1918.
who was killed on active service on March 12th, aged 20,
was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Goodwin, Rockside, Matlock.


Private. 70448 JOHN Bernard Towndrow GOUGH of the 2nd Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nott’s and Derby Regiment) who died of wounds received in the trenches near Vermelles on Wednesday 4th April 1917. Born Belper, enlisted Derby. He was the son of John B. and Matilda Gough of "Holmleigh", Windmill Lane, Belper, Derbyshire. Buried Vermelles British Cemetery.

Extract from the Belper Wesleyan Church, Newspaper

In Memory of Fallen Son
Mr & Mrs J. B. GOUGH of Windmill Lane, Belper have presented a communion cup for use at the Belper Wesleyan Church and which was used on Sunday for the first time. On that occasion the Minister was the Rev Harry (?) Uncle of the fallen soldier in whose remembrance the gift had been made. The following inscription (?) “to the glory of God and (.....) in loving memory to John BERNARD TOWNDROW GOUGH who was killed in action at Versailles, France on 4th April 1917. The deceased was a member of the church where his father had been Organist and Choirmaster a number of years.


Private 131404 JESSE Edward HARRISON of the 86thTraining Reserve who died on Friday 16th August 1918 aged 20. As Jesse died at home an accident or illness is the most likely explanation.  August 1918 seems a bit early for him to have died in the influenza pandemic, but that is a possibility.

He was the Son of Joseph E. and Rose Harrison, of Fountain House, Horsley and was born  in Kilburn, Derby’s. He is buried in the churchyard of St Clements Horsley.

31st (Reserve) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers was formed in Catterick in July 1915 as a Reserve battalion on 1st September 1916 it converted into 86th Training Reserve Battalion in 20th Reserve Brigade. This means that had Jesse survived and completed his training he would almost certainly been in the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Jesse Harrison’s Headstone

Whenever there isn’t a regimental crest for the man being commemorated a variation on the Royal Coat of Arms was used. There was also a mistake made by the stonemason the inscription reads the 36th Training Reserve not the 86th which is in his records.

The inscription reads:
 “We cannot Lord thy purpose see,
but all is well that's done by Thee"

Jesse was the only Strutt School Great War Fatality that ‘made it home’.


Lance Corporal 39998 MILES William JONES of the 1st  Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers born 1899 in Belper and was killed in action on Sunday 3rd February 1918 aged 19. He was the Son of Wilfred L. and Florence A. Jones, of 96, Alexandra St., Palmerston North, New Zealand. Native of Belper, England. Miles is buried in the Bucquoy Road Cemetery, Ficheux France. The Northumberland Fusiliers raised more battalions during the war than any other regular army regiment - 51 in all - and its total of dead was the highest, 16,000


Private 75216 FRED MILLS of the Derbyshire Yeomanry Household Cavalry & Cavalry of the line (Inc Yeomanry & Imperial Camel Corps) Born in Ripley, Derbyshire. Killed in action in Greece Friday 18th August 1916 aged 18. Fred was the Son of Fred and Annie Mills, of Exchange Hotel, Albert St., Derby. Fred is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial which stands near Doiran Military Cemetery, which is situated in the north of Greece close to the Yugoslav frontier and near the south-east shore of Lake Doiran.

The Salonika Campaign of 1915-1918 in Greece and Macedonia was, like the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey, an attempt by the Allies to open a second front to relieve pressure on British and French forces in Belgium and France.


Private 69783 NOEL William OUTHWAITE of the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) who died of wounds on Saturday 26th October 1918 aged 19 at the battle of Selle. Noel was killed just fifteen days before the Armistice and is buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery. He was the son of George C. and Mary A. Outhwaite, of 27, Cressy Rd., Alfreton, Derbyshire.


Lieutenant Samuel Porter B.Sc (Lond) 11th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment attached to the 8th Battalion Manchester Regiment. Born in 1889 West Ham killed in action on Saturday 7th August 1915 aged 26 he is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery Helles Turkey.

Samuel was ‘Gazetted’ in 1915

London Gazette February 1915
Lieutenants: —
Samuel Porter. Dated 21st December, 1914.

The British High Command decided to land a new force, north of Anzac at Suvla Bay, on 6/7 August. In an attempt to keep Turkish forces occupied, the troops around Helles would make another attempt to break-out, although its main aim was one of diversion.

The attack would become known as the Battle of the Vineyard. The troops were in position by 7am. The Turkish Army was obviously prepared for another assault and was shelling the British position. The Battalion War Diary notes that "The enemy bombardment was tremendous and even before the first assault; we had a good many casualties in the trenches". Leading the attack would be "C" Company. At 9.40, they left the trench and reached the Turkish front line, some 70 yards away. There were many casualties - some had got no more than 20 yards before being mown down by machine gun fire.

Samuel was the son of Linton and Clara Porter, of 72, East Rd., West Ham, London.


Second Lieutenant John William Raistrick 1st/8th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) born in 1885 in Pudsey Yorkshire killed in action on Saturday 19th May 1917 aged 32. John also known as Jack was a Teacher at the school.

He was the Son of E. B. and S. J. Raistrick. Native of Pudsey, Yorks. In the 1901 census J W Raistrick son of E B Raistrick is described as a pupil school teacher. The 1/8 West York’s (Leeds Rifles) was part of the 49th Division which was in Brigade Support in the Laventie Area from February to July 1917. John is buried in the Laventie Military Cemetery La Gorgue France.


Private 240931 Tom Wherrett born 1898 enlisted on Tuesday 20th October 1914. Arrived in France with 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters Nott’s and Derby Regiment) on the Sunday 25th of February 1917 in Flanders after serving in Ireland during the Easter Uprising of 1916.

Having responded to Kitchener's posters, to fight in the trenches of Belgium and France, they were caught instead in a smaller cause and had been pulled out of basic training at Watford to be thrown into street fighting against the Irish Rebels in Dublin. Most had less than three months of military service. They were unfamiliar with their weapons and had not even had live firing practice.

Tom was born in Matlock c1898 he died of wounds on Wednesday 12th December  1917 aged 19 and is buried in the Rocquigny-Equancourt British Cemetery Mannancourt France. He was the son of George and Sarah Wherrett a Baker in Matlock


Second Lieutenant Henry Gordon Wright. 5th Battalion attached to the 11th Battalion Middlesex Regiment Born 1885 in Canterbury, died on the first day of the Battle of Arras France on Easter Monday 9th April 1917. Henry was a Teacher at the school.

In 1908, Gordon decided to form a Hockey team and with that, Belper Hockey Club was born. Gordon is buried in the Ste Catherine British Cemetery Arras France.

The front and back of H G Wrights Medal Index Card

Many thanks to Richard Pinkett for providing this information

© Copyright 2011 Tricia Booth BACK HOME CONTACT

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